The Cecil-Harford 700 Club opened its 1993-94 tournament season last Sunday at Bel Air Bowl with a singles event that drew 38 entries.
Called the Marty's Pro Shop Open after Marty Letscher's pro shop, inside Bel Air Bowl, the format consisted of a four-game qualifier and stepladder finals.
Letscher, the top seed, led the qualifiers and defeated Brian Bever, 268-189, to win the Marty's Pro Shop Open.
Letscher donated a $50 gift certificate to the leading qualifier and to the winner of the event. But because he was the leading qualifier and the winner, he gave the gift certificates to the runner-up in both the qualifier and the tournament, Bill Barlow and Bever, respectively.
"That's the kind of guy Marty is," said Chuck Dippenworth, tournament director. "He's a class guy who's also a great tenpin bowler. He's always giving something back to the game, back to other bowlers."
Letscher has been operating the pro shop at Bel Air Bowl since July 1986. A tenpin bowler since age 11, he's been a member of the Professional Bowlers Association since 1979.
A few years ago, a problem with his shoulder almost ended his career.
He had an operation in June 1990 at Mercy Hospital in Baltimore that required repairing frayed tendons and ligaments and scrapping away some bone for better flexibility. Hard work and dedication saw Letscher return to the national PBA tour.
"I was lucky," he said.
Last December, Letscher won the $6,000 first prize in the PBA's national Resident Pro Championship at AMF Island Bowl in Corpus Christi, Texas.
"I'll be returning to the [national] tour this winter," Letscher said. "I'm looking forward to it."
He should do OK out there; currently he's averaging 220 in local leagues and winning local tournaments.
Greg Taylor shot the only 300 game of the Bel Air tournament. It was his sixth.
"The lanes started to open up and the pins started falling pretty good," he said. "I had a 260 game just before I shot the 300."
Taylor lives in Middle River and bowls in the Monday Classic league at Country Club Lanes and the Major Men's league at Fair Lanes Edgemere. He's averaging 211.
"Shooting the 300 was great," he said, "But in the past I've had an 834 series and I feel that was more difficult."
The next Cecil-Harford 700 Club Tournament -- the Harford Pro Shop Open -- will be Oct. 24 at Harford Lanes. It's open to all current ABC members who have bowled a sanctioned 700 series.
Information: (410) 638-9653.
One of the nation's best
Shawn Cristy, 8, of Havre De Grace, has been named one of the nation's Top 10 Bantam division bowlers by the Young American Bowling Alliance. The competition for the awards involved approximately 606,000 YABA league members in five divisions.
He received the national honor for posting a 377 scratch series on April 10 at Harford Lanes in Aberdeen. The Bantam awards are based on a two-game series.
Shawn's score placed him 10th on the list for boys 8 and under.
Shawn fired games of 210 and 176 for the series. That's good bowling. For someone 8 years old, it's awesome.